Images of child abuse found in Vatican City
Two cases of child pornography possession were uncovered within the walls of the Vatican last year, along with numerous other crimes in the city state, the Holy See’s prosecutor general has announced.
Following worldwide allegations of sex abuse by priests, Gian Piero Milano, the Holy See’s Promoter of Justice, said the Vatican was now taking action against paedophilia in the heart of the Catholic church.
Unveiling the Vatican’s justice report, Milano stopped short of naming those accused of possessing child pornography. Holy See spokesman Federico Lombardi however identified Josef Wesolowski, a disgraced former ambassador, as one of the people facing charges.
Wesolowski was stripped of his diplomatic immunity last year following accusations that he abused young boys during his time as envoy to the Dominican Republic. The Polish former archbishop is currently awaiting trial at the Vatican, in what will be the first sex abuse trial ever held at the Holy See.
Beyond the child pornography cases, Vatican authorities are battling an array of crimes including drug trafficking and money laundering. Three drug deliveries addressed to the Vatican were intercepted last year, including a packet containing cocaine-filled condoms. The drugs were discovered at Germany’s Leipzig airport and handed to the Vatican in the hope of ensnaring the buyer, but no one came forward to claim the package.
Despite the array of criminal activity, only six people ended up in the Vatican’s prison last year. They include Marcello di Finizio, an Italian protester who climbed atop St Peter’s Basilica, and Iana Azhdanova, a Femen activist who bared her breasts and grabbed a baby Jesus statue from the Vatican’s nativity scene.